The Style Guide has some helpful reminders about indentation (don't mix spaces and tabs, indent child elements), plus general etiquette (stick with the previous author's style, be consistent). The whole thing can be summed up as: optimize as much as possible, made code easy for collaborators to scan through. Somewhere halfway down the page, though, I found a section on optional HTML tags.
In all fairness, both Google and the WhatWG HTML5 spec frame this concept with "you may" and "consider" and other non-mandatory type phrasing. But I thought, hey, here's another way to be kind of minimalist, keep things tidy, not have more clutter than is really needed. And indeed, I could simply be rid of the
<body>and a whole pile of closing tags. But! the traditionalist and skeptic in me took a pause and said, "Should I really mess with this right now? I haven't noticed this implemented anywhere, and my classes/research have all indicated that closing tags are the basis of a well-formed markup language. Maybe this is best left for another day."
Well ok, inner-skeptic, but I still want to learn a little more. So, some questions:
- What exactly constitutes a valid, well-formed markup language?
<section>, which provide the browser with standard elements to display and style accordingly. XML uses tags to describe content, too, but is best suited to databases (DB). Since it is used in DBs, it is particularly necessary to have both starting and ending tags and to completely conform with the DB definition or else any references to each element would just fail. Not going into that here.
So a well-formed and valid bunch of whicheverML follows all the rules in the relevant specification and passes tests like the W3C validator. Well-formed generally refers to syntax, so elements that are arranged according the rules are syntactically correct. The traditional definition of well-formed includes closing anything that has an opening tag and properly nesting elements. A valid ML also follows its Document Type Definition (DTD), a sort of grammar dictionary for how to apply the language (here's the HTML4 DTD, for example). See the W3C validator's info here.
- How much of a difference in speed does tag omission really confer?
There's a conversation on StackOverflow from 2010 about how much of a difference this could actually make. It's hypothesized that especially at Google's size, "
</body></html>is 14 characters and at
3billion searches per day, it amounts to approximately
39.12 GBof data per day ignoring compressions, or around
26 GBif we take gzipping into account." And another discussion from about the same time that goes more in depth on the whole issue.
- Are there any arguments against tag omission on the whole?
- Is this just one of those crazy, Google-is-way-ahead-of-everyone-else-again things?